Carolina Cold Case: The Death of Andy Powell

Tyler Ryan learns about the facts leading up to the murder of a 21 year old Lexington County man in 2009


On the evening of September 24, 2009, twenty-one year old Andy Powell was in his Gaston South Carolina home at 225 Goodwin Road.  Shortly before 11:30 PM, several people drove down the dirt road leading to his trailer at the dead end.  They forced their way in, and found Andy down the hall in a room in the back of the trailer.  The killers bound his hands, and according to reports, dragged him down the hall to the living room.

Lexington County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Robby Lint, who worked the crime scene that night, says “There was obviously an altercation between Andy and the assailants that turned deadly with a gunshot wound.”  Lt. Lint also indicates that there was the possibility that Andy “may have known the assailants.”

Someone close to the case told me that Andy may have gotten free, and tried to fight back, leading up to the shooting.

A statement released a few years after the murder from the Sheriff’s Department said that there have been persons of interest, and that the shooting was not random.  The killers “seemed to know their way around,” says one Sheriff’s Department Investigator.  There were also narcotics discovered at the scene, but investigators stopped short of saying whether it played into the murder.

At the time of the murder, Andy was home alone.  According to neighbors, they heard a “popping noise,” which could have been a gunshot, around 11:30.  They also reported seeing people leaving the house right after the noise.  The pathologist who performed the autopsy ruled his time of death at 11:25.  Andy’s stepfather was the person who found Andy around 4:30 AM on the morning of September 25th, after arriving home after a night out.  He called 9-1-1, and Andy’s Mother, Debbie Powell.  “I was at home, in bed,” says Debbie, “I received a phone call saying that Andy was dead.  I didn’t believe it.  When I got there, and saw the blue and red lights, I knew it was true.”

“I don’t know why anyone would want to hurt him,” she says, “He had a ton of friends…everybody loved him, and he loved everybody,” she says.  Debbie Powell has also spent the last 12 years investigating her son’s death.  She told me that two days before the murder, Andy and his stepfather, Billy Mack Powell had been in Orangeburg, and someone had pulled a gun on them.

She says that she learned that there were several people in the home on the night of the murder, wearing masks.  “They taped my son’s hands behind his back, but managed to get his hands loose and pull the masks off one of them, and that is when they shot him,” stating further that she doesn’t think they “intended to kill him.”

Powell also believes that Andy knew his killers, and that it was personal.  Shel says that they took his prized silver dragon necklace, his Playstation, and the keys to his truck, however didn’t take the truck.  She also pointed out that the killers didn’t take his wallet, or any other valuables.  

Lt. Lint said that the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department continues to follow up on any leads in the case.  “Someone out there has correct information about what happened,” he states, “We are just waiting for that person to come forward and tell us.  Someone knows exactly what we need to know to push the case forward.”  Lt. Lint explains that they have suspects and information, however, they need corroboration in order to bring charges.

Powell said that she may never have closure, but she wants whoever killed her son “to pay…not the way I would like, but someone needs to pay.”

“If you know what happened to my son Andy Powell,” she pleads, “my son didn’t deserve this happening to him, and he deserves justice.”

If you have any information, you are asked to call the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department or Crime Stoppers, at 1-888-CRIME SC.


Tyler Ryan is an award winning television and radio personality, writer, investigative journalist, and professional emcee.  He appears daily on ABC Columbia’s Good Morning Columbia, as well as hosting the syndicated radio program Carolina Cares on the South Carolina Radio Network, and the iHeart Radio Network.  Tyler also regularly appears as a criminal expert and journalist on regional and national crime based programs like Snapped and Killer Couples.  You can contact him directly via EMAIL Or on the socials: Tyler’s Instagram  // Tyler’s Facebook

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